Elizabeth Siegel, Allure magazine
I'm going to let you in on a secret: at least once a summer, I end up with tan lines. It's not because I don't wear SPF. I slather it on diligently (and as a beauty writer, it's my job to reiterate the importance of always, always wearing sunscreen). I sit under an umbrella every time I'm at the beach. And I always ask for the table that's in the shade. But I also tan really easily-and if I spend one Saturday ducking in and out of stores, I inevitably end up with subtle lines on my shoulders. If you can also relate, here are makeup artist Ashleigh Ciucci's tips for hiding tan lines-whether you need a quick fix that same day, or have a big event coming up later in the week.
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First, do damage control: Exfoliating will buff away some of the tan-but make sure to use a gentle exfoliator, like a daily cleanser with microbeads. Harsher exfoliators can aggravate skin after sun exposure, and "might make your skin look blotchy," says Ciucci.
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Then, if you need to mask tan lines in a pinch: Use a cotton ball to dab on a matte bronzer (if your complexion is medium or dark) or a matte peach-y blush (if you're fair and get pink in the sun). "Blend it over the tan line and onto the skin right next to it. If it's just on the tan line, it will look too obvious," says Ciucci. The technique works with powder or cream formulas, but be extra careful when using creams. They may look the most natural going on, but you'll need to set them with translucent powder to keep them from smudging.
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If you have more time: Go out and buy an aerosol foundation that's a shade darker than your skin. "This is my favorite way to hide tan lines," says Ciucci, who likes Dior DiorSkin Airflash Spray Foundation and Sally Hansen Natural Beauty Inspired by Carmindy Airbrush Spray Makeup. Pull your hair back, and spray the foundation on from about six inches away. "Spray it all over your chest, and you'll cover any imperfections at the same time," says Ciucci. Use your fingers or a makeup sponge to tap the foundation into your skin to blend.